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Cap review: Redskins likely can’t afford a top WR

Jan 15, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

Eric-Decker

Salary cap review: Wide receiver

As Jay Gruden continues to assemble his coaching staff, people in another part of the building at Redskins Park are looking forward to free agency and how best to utilize the approximately $28 million in cap space the Redskins have. Here we’ll take a position-by-position look at the cap situation and explore some of the Redskins’ options. First up, wide receivers.

The Redskins currently have five wide receivers under contract.

Salary Cap number
Pierre Garcon $7,100,000 $9,700,000
Leonard Hankerson $645,000 $821,594
Nick Williams $495,000 $495,000
Josh Bellamy $495,000 $495,000
David Gettis $730,000 $730,000
Total $9,465,000 $12,241,594

Some notes:

—The Redskins will carry a dead cap charge of $3.77 million for Josh Morgan’s voiding contract.

—Aldrick Robinson’s contract also expires this year but since he has only two seasons of NFL experience (he spent his rookie year on the practice squad) he will be an exclusive-rights free agent. It’s likely that the Redskins will sign him to a one-year deal worth $645,000, the third-year player minimum.

—Garçon has the second-highest cap number on the team behind offensive tackle Trent Williams.

—This is a very reasonable amount to spend on wide receivers. The Eagles, for example, are carrying a $12.5 million cap charge for DeSean Jackson alone.

Adding and subtracting

Many analysts believe that the Redskins need to add another quality wide receiver to the mix to compliment Garçon and to draw some coverage away from him. They could do that but they are likely to stay away from the highest priced players who are likely to be on the market such as the Broncos’ Eric Decker.

Top-notch receivers are among the most expensive items in free agency. This year Mike Wallace, the top prize in last year’s free agency period, will cost the Dolphins $17.5 million against the cap this year. That’s just the going rate.

If the Redskins do decide to add another wide receiver they could look in the draft. A player picked with the 34th pick, the team’s top selection this year, would carry very reasonable cap number. Justin Hunter, the player picked 34th last year, carried a cap charge of just over $986,000 in his rookie season. The player picked in the comparable spot this year will make slightly more.

Should they want a known quantity at wide receiver they probably will have to look at someone who is not at the premium level, maybe someone like James Jones of the Packers or Jerome Simpson of the Vikings (Jay Gruden coached him with the Bengals in 2011). Their maximum would be an annual cap hit of something around $6 million. That’s right around what they were paying Morgan the past two years.

  1. aprilwalker2013 - Jan 15, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    This is bad news for me!! I want Decker on our team so bad!! #87 along with #88?? Wow!! So Rich, you say no way we can afford Decker?? 😂😂😂💔💔 HTTR

  2. kenlinkins - Jan 15, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Rich, The WR position is the main problem I am having with my “what I would do to fix the Redskins” plan for 2014. Anytime I try to work in a WR (Free Agent or Draft) I break the bank or blow up my draft. IF RG3 is to return to his 2012 form the O-Line must be fixed and that requires 3 or 4 people, getting a WR in the Draft with the 34th pick leaves us with the 7th or 8th best WR this year, many of the WR Free Agents are over priced and weak and guys like Decker breaks the Cap bank. Even if I try just building a offense to just out score other teams (like the 1967 Redskins) I end up with a defense that even Maryland could beat by 20 points. Do you see a WR contract now that could have a break out year? Robinson and Hankerson seem the best bets but I sure do not see it at better than 50/50, and that only gets us a 2nd WR, even if he re-sign Davis and use a double TE set or even draft a TE, I still see us one short. With the new Pass Happy NFL the WR position is now very important and I am still trying to find a way to fix everything and I am starting to think it may take more than a year. Your comments are always welcome.

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 15, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      Thanks for your thoughts. A few things:

      –The Redskins can hope that Hank and Aldrick can blossom into legitimate receiving threats this year. But (to use one of my my favorite saying) hope is not a plan.

      –Not sure about 7-8 WR’s going in the first. I think some teams will go in other directions knowing they can get a good WR in the second or even third. At this early point in time I’ll guess 4-5 will be off the board when the Redskins pick.

      –It’s not a one-year fix. Some patchwork will be needed in some places. I think since a WR takes a season or two to truly develop you get him and let him start learning. You can get your stud free safety in the first round in 2015, line him up and turn him loose.

      • kenlinkins - Jan 15, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        OK, try WR Benjamin (fla st), CB Colvin (Okl), OT Hurst (NC), CB Breeland (Clem), OG Groy (Wisc) and S Zimmerson (K St) as draft picks, MUST TAG Orakpo or resign Jackson, RESIGN: Riley, D. Hall, Look for mid level free agent ILB, WR, DT, RT, G/C. and hope (I know, hope is not a plan lol) that I am right about LeRibues or Gettis being able to start in 2014. So far, that’s the best I can do. PS: Draft Simulators are worst crack this time of year. LOL

        • kenlinkins - Jan 15, 2014 at 4:24 PM

          I know, this does little to fix the pass rush, a major problem in 2013. I think I want to be the new Cleveland Browns head coach, with 10 draft picks (7 in the top 125) a ton of Cap Money, and a good core of players and I couldn’t mess that up
          . Trying to fix the Redskins problems is hurting my brain! lol

  3. Mario - Jan 15, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Go in the Draft to get a young tall receiver, They’re a lot of good ones in there. This off season we need to get the defense better and find a safety threw free agent

    • O - Jan 16, 2014 at 4:51 AM

      As long as it’s not the Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas of the world, I’m good

  4. nomaan78 - Jan 15, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    With the O-line issues fixed in Free Agency the Redskins will be fine. draft the best available WR left on the board. Hankerson is a beast of a player, but cant stay healthy. Aldrick is a speedster who they need to have run more routes and see if he can do more than just provide a deep threat. Gettis is intriguing with his size, speed and experience with RG3 at Baylor. But we need an Elite playmaker other than Garcon. I really like Kelvin Benjamin WR FSU. 6’5 megatron like WR. I hope he is available in the early 2nd round. I doubt it though :(
    Allen Robinson is another intriguing prospect. I think as long as RG3 has protection he will find, Garcon,, Hankerson, Gettis, Robinson, Reed, Helu and make plays for the team. I sure would love Benjamin though

  5. Rio - Jan 16, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    That’s soooo true!!!!

  6. bensellers - Jan 18, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    How about waiting till Garcon actually does something praiseworthy before hiring another receiver to compliment him?

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 18, 2014 at 8:12 AM

      Well, he set the team record for receptions and was in the top 10 in the NFL in yards. Don’t put him in the Hall of Fame but not a bad year. I will add that if more Redskins played with the passion of Garçon they wouldn’t have gone 3-13.

      • Marty - Jan 19, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        Ditto

    • skins51186 - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      Do you watch the games?

  7. rcjur - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    Skins don’t need to draft a WR early. They should give Briscoe and Gettis a shot and keep Robinson in the mix. If Andre Johnson is available as FA Skins should sign him. Garcon, Johnson, Briscoe, Gettis and Robinson should do it. Still draft a WR in mid round. Main needs I believe are on defense. Get a DT, LB, DE, CB and S. Offense we need Guard and Tackle.

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